Sporting KC closes at home on Thursday in the second leg of the Western Conference final.
By: Carlos Chicas
This was the XI that Peter Vermes played the first leg of the Western Conference final against Portland. In goal Tim Melia, in the back: Ike Opara, Matt Besler, Graham Zusi, Seth Sinovic. In the midfield: Roger Espinoza, Illie Sanchez, Felipe Gutierrez. In the attack: Daniel Salloi, Khiry Shelton, and Johnny Russell. Sporting KC achieved an important 0-0 draw and now closes at home on Thursday night.
The game: It was the Colombian forward Asprilla of Portland who threatened in the first 30 seconds of the first half, but Tim Melia with great save for Sporting KC and denied what could have been 1-0.
Sporting KC would be saved again at fifth minute when Jorge Villafana’s right leg would crash the ball in the left post that Melia defended. The first 45 minutes of the match ended 0-0.
In the second half, and at the top of the 69th minute a controversial play when Tiko Guzman came to push the ball into the goal for Timbers but the referee denied the goal since player was in offside position.
Sporting KC goalkeeper Tim Melia did not allow scoring during the game and made very important saves that keep Sporting with one foot in the final. “We played very well, we made a great effort and we got a very important point, and now we return home and we will have the support of our fans, we continue to learn to play in difficult situations. Now everything is in our hands and if we win at home we are in the final. ”
Matt Besler said “This was a very difficult match; we know that it is a very important result. We concentrated very well, we made important plays during the match and now we are going home.”
Sporting KC Technical Director Peter Vermes was happy with the result against Portland and now wants to win at home on Thursday night. “It was a divided game, I think we did what we need, we could not execute in the opportunities that we had. Defensively, we play very well, and now we return home to play. We try to win here but we didn’t, we will try it at home.” Peter Vermes concluded.
The second leg of the Western Finals between Sporting KC and Portland is scheduled for Thursday, November 29 at the Blue Hell. Kickoff is set for 8:30 PM Central Time.